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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Winter Advice?

I have a 2008 Cobalt LS Sedan. Being 16 and having got my license in April, it's my first time driving in the winter with a small car. (When I had my permit, my dad always had me driving an SUV in the winter) And honestly, I'm not sure what I need to do. I live in Michigan, so the snow can get pretty bad up here.

My question is, do I need to get winter tires? If so, what kind should I get? The car also doesn't have Traction control or ABS. How much of a difference will this make for winter driving?

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 05:55 PM
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Being 16 also, I would have to say the best advice would be..... Slow and Careful don't get you killed.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 06:01 PM Premium Member

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Yes, you need winter tires. And since you are basically being thrown to the wolves, so to speak; go slow, leave plenty of space between you and the other people, increased stopping distance, keep looking for anything or anyone that can cause a wreck.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Slow and careful. Got it!

For the winter tires, any suggestions on a brand or type or anything? I've never bought tires so I have no idea what to look for...
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 06:29 PM

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Firestone winterforce or brigdestone blizzask. And seriously since your so young I would maybe even read some articles a out snow driving or practice in a parking lot. You'll be amazed how different driving and especially stopping a car in snow and ice can be. But above all drive slow. Nearly all accidents in the snow can be avoided if people just slow down

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 06:32 PM
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You can go to or and enter your vehicle (your stock tire size will be a 195-60R15), and then select snow tires.

As for the driving portion, it's not bad - do not go fast, and if you're on ice, or suspect you are (usually your car will start to kinda skid around), don't make any sudden movements, because all you'll do is spin out. When you take off, take off VERY slowly, otherwise you'll just sit there and spin.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys. I'm going to look into getting tires asap and I'm reading up on winter driving right now. Really appreciate it!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 09:43 PM Premium Member
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Since you got advice on everything else driving related but braking. Learn how to feather your brakes without abd its a different experience stopping on ice. Up here its alot of tap and release, tap and release because you want to have control while stopping. Just holding the brakes down causes you to slide much further.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 03:57 AM
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^ Yes, practice braking, pumping the brakes to keep them from locking up (basically doing what abs would have done for you). If you hit the brakes and dont pump you will slide and it wont be in a straight line, if your wheels/brakes lock up and you are heading for a curb, turn the wheel to straighten the car out and let off the brake. Had this issue just the other day cuz my eclipse doesnt have abs. Practice braking will help you get in the habit of pumping, a problem at least for me is ive never had to pump my brakes myself before, in a situation of panic you might forget to pump.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 08:09 AM
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EMPTY PARKING LOTS!!! Thats the BEST place to get the feel of being in control when S*** goes down. I live in WI, so we know snow almost as good as you MI guys do. practice getting a feel for how much pressure u can put on the brake pedal b4 they lock up, and how sharp you can turn b4 u lose grip and go str8. Practicing this has helped me TONS. I dont have winter tires, but i would reccomend getting some if you have the money. if not, make sure your FRONT tires have good tread (more than 50%) and you should be ok as long as you distance yourself from other drivers.

but most important of all... realize that there are A LOT of people on the road that shouldn't be because theyre either way to impatient and feel the need to rush everywhere, or just plain old suck at driving and dont know what their vehicle can and can't do. so dont be one of those people. get a really good feel for your car and expect other people to slide through the intersection.

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